LG right-handed sidearm pitcher Jung Woo-young, who is in the year of the rabbit, has to spend the year 2023, a more busy year than anyone else. Starting with the WBC (World Baseball Classic) in March, major international competitions such as the Hangzhou Asian Games in September and the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) in November are scheduled. Jung Woo-young, who has already been selected as the WBC representative, can also play in the Asian Games and APBC, where only those under the age of 24 can participate. In the professional baseball season that opens in April, we want to help LG achieve its long-cherished goal of winning the combined championship. LG has no relationship with the Korean series since 1994.

Jung Woo-young, whom I recently met at Jamsil Baseball Stadium, said, “It is an important year for me. He said, “I will be careful even of the falling leaves,” and said, “In the end, I will be able to achieve all of this only if it doesn’t hurt,” and his eyes twinkled.

Sidearm with a top speed of 157 km/h

Jung Woo-young, who debuted in an LG uniform in 2019, did not receive much attention even during the rookie draft. The fact that he was a rare sidearm pitcher was seen as both his strength and weakness. In the end, he entered relatively ‘quietly’ with the 15th rank in the second round of the second round.

메이저놀이터 However, he established himself as the team’s key bullpen pitcher from his first year and became the Rookie of the Year. It has been 22 years since Lee Byeong-gyu in 1997 from LG. Last season, he even won the title of hold king (35).

What is his secret to growing terrifyingly every year? Jung Woo-young is currently one of the pitchers boasting the strongest physique (193cm, 98kg) in the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) league. The 157 km/h two-seam fastball spewing out from here is particularly impressive.

Even in the 2021 season, Jung Woo-young had an average speed of two-seam fastballs of 146 km per hour, but now it exceeds 151 km per hour. This is the result of his weight gain of about 14 kg before last season. He said, “I did exercise and diet adjustments to bulk up with the body shape of Japan’s Shohei Ohtani (a player who doubles as a pitcher) in mind,” and said, “I naturally gained a lot of strength and the ball speed seemed to go up by itself.”

“I will show off my ground ball induction ability at the WBC”

The two-seam fastball has the characteristic of sinking slightly in front of the batter, leading to a lot of miss swings or grounder hits from hitters who mistake it for a regular fastball (four-seam fastball). Jung Woo-young’s two-seam is more powerful because of its speed.

Last season, Jung Woo-young’s ground ball/floating ball out ratio (GO/AO) was 4.55, overwhelmingly ranked first among pitchers in the national team. Considering that the ratio of second place KT Koh Young-pyo is 1.86, we can see how exceptional Jung Woo-young’s grounder induction ability is. Jung Woo-young said, “I think he was selected for the national team because of his fast ball and ability to induce ground balls in scoring range.”

Jung Woo-young, who started playing baseball at the age of 6 in elementary school, is the so-called ‘Beijing Kids’ who grew up watching the 2008 Beijing Olympics baseball gold medal. He said the following year he could not forget the WBC runner-up as well.

He receives the spirit of the 2009 WBC runner-up members and aims to recreate his glory. Jung Hyun-wook, who threw 10 1/3 innings, the most among Korean pitchers at the time, and scored 13 strikeouts, is the pitching coach for the national team. Jung Woo-young expressed his aspirations, saying, “I remember seeing coach Jung Hyun-wook in a deep impression.”

Another member and captain of the national team, Kim Hyun-soo, is a teammate, and he said, “When I saw the news on the WBC list, Hyun-soo hyung contacted me first. I was so grateful, and all I could think was that I had to do well.”

On the 21st of last month, Jung Woo-young left for Arizona, USA, the team’s training ground, 9 days earlier than his other colleagues. As he virtually starts the season in March, it’s to pick up the pace faster than in previous years.

Jung Woo-young, whose goal is to become a ‘reliable man’ representing Korea in the future, said, “I want to become a ‘monster’ that grows every year, just like my song ‘Monster’. Starting with the WBC, we will revive the popularity of baseball. Please watch over me,” he promised.

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